Pulse Opinion: On the right distinction women need to place between husband and boyfriend benefits

So you say boyfriends don't deserve husband benefits... but to what extent, really?

The right distinction to place between husband and boyfriend benefits [Credit: Black Enterprise]

Many times, opinions become popular because someone comes along, drops a line that sounds intelligent and feels sleek and everyone just rides along with it.

Of course, for such trains-of-thought to flourish to the point of being universally accepted, they must have their own merits. At least, apparently.

Take for example; the widely-accepted opinion that dating a friend’s ex is not a good idea, and the popular one that talks up the advantages of seeking closure after every breakup.

Sure, the possible difficulties of remaining friends with someone while dating their hated ex might make the prospect a scary one and kinda validates the idea that every time anyone feels something for a woman or man their friend has previously dated, the best thing to do would be to sweep those feelings under the carpet and act like they do not exist.

However, upon closer examination and after reading these articles here and here, there is a huge chance that you will have a rethink and see that many opinions, particularly the two examples listed above, are not really as tightly lidded as their popularity might suggest.

That logic brings us to the popularity of the idea that husband privileges should not be given to boyfriends. It is so common to hear people say, and you surely must have heard it too, that women should not be giving husband privileges to boyfriends.

But really, what does this even mean?

The idea connotes that husbands deserve some benefits when they wife a woman, which boyfriends do not deserve until they do same.

Ok, cool. So let’s do a quick head-to-head. What are husbands supposed to get that boyfriends should be denied of?

Boyfriend benefits versus husband benefits

Whether married or not, being with a man presupposes your readiness to be faithful, to be kind, honest, to communicate appropriately, to care for your man and about him. These are unarguably basic relationship benefits a man gets in a relationship, and no one would raise an eyebrow if a woman exhibits these things with a man even when she’s yet to marry him.

That brings us to the elephant in the room; sex.

This writer likes to think that whenever people dredge up that rule that says ‘do not give husband benefits to boyfriends,’ their intention is to warn against premarital sex, since that is the only obvious thing that people usually hold back. I mean, given the realities of the society we live in and all the moral and religious influences that often shape our beliefs and behaviours, what else could the most obvious benefit of a marriage be, aside sex?

So, that pretty much settles it – the idea of not giving husband benefits to boyfriends seems to be nothing but another code slogan against premarital sex and that’s just fine and well if that's all there is to this whole talk.

We already know how that rule against premarital sex works – people often just go ahead and do what they want, anyway! Everyone chooses to believe and practice what they feel is best for them and their relationship. That is pretty much settled and this article will not go further than that on the subject of premarital sex.

The problem with extending the rule to cover relationship benefits that are not sex

While it is normal and acceptable to see people advise others to not engage in sex before marriage, asking them to not be totally devoted to their relationship simply because the boyfriend is not yet the husband makes no sense, and is quite ignorant.

When people try to use the concept of ‘not giving husband benefits to a boyfriends’ as a way of limiting their involvement and commitment to a partner, it is selfish, ignorant, and simply another case of thoughtlessly following the bandwagon.

Instead of taking every dating advice hook, line and sinker, it is important to realise that no two relationships are the same, that what works for one may not work for all, and most importantly, that there is no such thing as boyfriend or husband benefits, really; only mutual energy and efforts.

So with a partner who goes all out for you, one who makes the relationship easy and fun, who communicates, you even enjoy being with him, he is supportive, you feel supportive of him, too… the energy is right, the vibe is mutual… now imagine pulling back just because someone came up with some rule that says some non-sexual relationship efforts are best withdrawn simply because a man is not married to you yet.

Like I already said, while I could understand the religious and moral standpoint of asking people to withhold sex from people they are not married to, I could never wrap my head around the logic of telling people to not put in the same level of commitment a partner is putting into their relationship. Maybe it’s because that’s not how relationships are meant to work.

I strongly believe that relationships are meant to have a give-and-take nature and that anyone who gives you the right energy deserves an equal amount of same, whether or not you are married to them.

No other sensational rule or sweet-sounding hot take should ever make you rethink this simple fundamental relationship tenet. Ever.

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